Win7/64 and Telstra “Elite” prepaid mobile broadband

Since J won’t be home for another few days and she’s feeling disconnected, I popped into our local JB Hifi today and picked up a Telstra ‘Elite’ prepaid mobile broadband usb stick with 3Gb of data included. I would have recharged my vodafail 3g stick, but when I turned that all on in her room yesterday, there was only 1 bar (out of 5) of signal. Not enough to load the recharge login webpage. The hospital’s wifi AP is massively attenuated, too, so there’s no point trying that connection. After our experiences with Optus mobiles we’re not going to use them again, so Telstra was the only option left.

Once I got it home, I tried to install and activate it on my laptop so that when I take it to her it’s all ready to go (modulo installing software on her laptop).

According to the documentation in the box, you should be able to just insert the usb connector and then install the software off the device. [Using the common theme of making it appear as a CD until you install the driver and app, then showing up as a modem].


I’m running Windows 7 Pro in 64bit mode on the laptop (mutter mutter random Cisco software for work mutter mutter), so not only did no “cd” show up, but no devices showed up in the device manager either.

A quick trip off to google brought me to whirlpool, which lead me to the manufacturer’s site. Downloaded and installed ZTE’s version and lo, it didst all work!

Then I activated the stick (note that I had to use the stick’s internet connection, because using my internode ADSL2+ connection resulted in a “Corrupted Content Error”), and promptly got two SMSs saying I had a $0.00 balance.


Ten minutes on hold before I got through to a CSR, who told me that the balance shows how much I’ve actually paid in a recharge (which, correctly, is $0.00), and at the moment I’m using “bonus data”. It’d be nice if this was made clearer.

Anyway, now it works and I’ll be taking it to J tomorrow.